Press releases

ITC and IMD to partner on enterprise competitiveness and policy research

18 November 2015
ITC News
The International Trade Centre and the IMD World Competitiveness Center aim to improve the understanding of the drivers of competitiveness in developing countries

(Geneva/Lausanne) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the IMD World Competitiveness Center (IMD WCC) have agreed to strengthen collaboration to study competitiveness and its implications for development.

The collaboration between IMD WCC and ITC aspires to enhance the efficiency of the public and private sectors, and will pay particular attention to the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as drivers of sustainable value creation and as vehicles for more inclusive economic growth.

Across developing countries – and on the African continent in particular – a lack of available data makes it difficult to carry out comparative assessments either for public or private institutions. As a result, policymakers, enterprises and investors are severely constrained in their decision-making processes.

It is in response to this challenge that ITC and IMD-WCC are establishing this new partnership, which was announced at the Africa SME Champions Forum, held in Nairobi, Kenya. The two organizations will share knowledge, insights and know-how on competitiveness matters to allow stakeholders to take better-informed decisions.

This collaboration between IMD-WCC and ITC seeks to provide the background for international benchmarking as well as implementing programs that will foster the strengths and identify the areas of improvement for developing countries and their enterprises.

‘We believe in the value of collaboration with centers of academic excellence such as the IMD-WCC, and look forward to applying the learnings from this joint work to further enhance the competitiveness capacities of our developing-country stakeholders,’ said Marcos Vaena, ITC’s Chief of Enterprise Competitiveness. ‘The partnership also connects ITC’s ongoing work on SME competitiveness with IMD’s long experience in country-level analysis. I see this as an important step towards greater understanding of the role of SMEs in fostering broader economic inclusion.’ he said.

Christos Cabolis, Chief Economist at IMD-WCC, said: ’Strengthening competitiveness has been shown to benefit countries and enterprises by providing a framework for managing the totality of resources and competencies for sustainable value creation. The collaboration with ITC will enable additional insights to be explored on how such an inclusive value creation can be realized in a developing economy.’ 


Notes to Editors

About the International Trade Centre
ITC is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

About IMD
IMD is the top-ranked business school, recognized as the expert in developing global leaders through high-impact executive education. The school is 100% focused on real-world executive development; offers Swiss excellence with a global perspective; and has a flexible, customized and effective approach. IMD is based in Lausanne (Switzerland) and has an Executive Learning Center in Singapore.

For further information
Mr. Jarle Hetland
Media Officer, ITC
P: +41 22 730 0145
M: +41 79 852 9180
E: hetland [at] (hetland[at]intracen[dot]org)

Aicha Besser
Communications Specialist, IMD
P: +41021 618 0507
E: aicha.besser [at] (aicha[dot]besser[at]imd[dot]org)